As energy rates continue to rise, you may be on the lookout for strategies to reduce your usage and save money. Even though big-ticket investments such as replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems can help make your home more efficient, you can lower energy costs right away with little to no up-front investment. Here’s how.
1. Replace Your HVAC Air Filter
Check the filter each month and swap it out when it looks dirty, or every three months, whichever comes first. The cost of a new filter can be recouped by boosting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home will quickly feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a fresh filter in place.
2. Change Your Thermostat for Energy Savings
Keep the temperature about 70 degrees or cooler during the winter and raise it to 77 degrees or warmer for the summer. Then, dress for the season to help you stay comfortable.
3. Put in a Programmable Thermostat
If you still use an old manual thermostat, get a programmable model. This affordable replacement pays for itself quickly thanks to energy savings by allowing you to program setback periods while you’re away or in bed. Automatic temperature recovery means you save money without ever feeling uncomfortable. Look for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can adjust remotely for even more opportunities to save.
4. Implement Yearly HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance provides a good return on investment. For starters, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system works more effectively than a poorly maintained one. You also lower the risk of breakdowns and the associated repair costs. Plus, your heating and cooling is able to live a few years longer when you care for it today.
5. Locate and Fix Air Leaks
Air leaks can develop wherever multiple building materials are found. Try to find and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and decrease the strain on your heating and cooling. Here are a few tips:
- Remove and replace old weatherstripping to ensure windows and doors shut more tightly.
- Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to prevent air leaks.
- Add expanding spray foam close to wiring, plumbing, ventilation, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors.
- Shut the fireplace damper whenever a fire isn’t lit.
6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage
In the summer, you should try to shut out solar heat gain. Closing reflective curtains over the windows during the afternoon is a convenient way to do this. If your budget permits, you can also plant trees on the south and west sides of your property. By selecting deciduous trees, you can enjoy a source of shade over the summer while still enabling the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter.
7. Use Water Wisely
Conserve this important resource and lower your water bills with some tips:
- Take short showers instead of long baths.
- Secure low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
- Turn off the water when shaving and brushing your teeth.
- Deal with drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes right away.
8. Turn Things Off
Plug computers, printers, TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles and other electronics into power strips. This way, you can shut them off with the flip of a switch when not in use. Additionally, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to minimize small amounts of “phantom” energy usage.
9. Replace Your Light Bulbs
Do you still use old incandescent bulbs at home? Swap them out with LEDs to save nearly 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decline as LEDs work about 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
10. Run Appliances Efficiently
Appliances are the energy hogs of the home. Conserve energy with these tips: Shut windows and doors when running the furnace or air conditioner. Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and wrap it in an insulating blanket. Only use the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. Switch off the heated-dry function on your dishwasher. Line-dry clothes when possible. Heat food in the microwave instead of the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons. If your utility provider charges more for electricity through “peak times,” aim to use your appliances during low-peak periods.
Get Help Cutting Home Energy Costs
Many cost-cutting measures relate directly to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help applying these tips, reach out to Air Engineers Service Experts. We supply affordable maintenance and repair work, along with cost-effective installation and replacement services. Additionally, with financing options available, even big-ticket upgrades will suit your budget. For more information about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Air Engineers Service Experts office today.